web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
Apartment 758x530 Africa-Israel at the Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York

Africa Israel Residences, part of the Africa Israel Investments Group led by international businessman Lev Leviev, will present 7 leading projects on the The Israel Real Estate Exhibition in New York on Sep 14-15, 2014.



Going Squirrelly


Lessons-logo

I was writing in my home office, and the back door was open, letting the breeze waft in. It was quiet, except for a loud squawking squirrel outside. In fact, he was so loud that it sounded as if he was in the next room. I stopped typing and unsteadily dragged myself to the dining room door, terrified to open it.

My daughters’ voices carried from upstairs, and I heard them starting to come down.

“Stay upstairs and hide!” I yelled in a panic.

I was now certain that there was a squirrel in the house, but what could I do? The thought of rabies sent waves of terror through my shaking body. I opened the door just enough to survey the room and catch a glimpse of the squirrel running up the window drapes where I watched in horror as he perched, squawking like a maniac. I ran into the office, grabbed the phone, and dialed 911.

“911, how can I help you?”

“We need help! My children are hiding, I’m behind the door, and he’s going to kill us!”

“Ma’am, who is trying to kill you? Is it a man or a woman?”

“The squirrel, he broke into the house.”

I heard a chuckle. “Ma’am, are you telling me that there is a squirrel in your house?”

“Yes, send someone over – quick! He’s crazy, he’ll kill us.”

“Hold the line for animal control.” I then heard music emanating from the phone while the squirrel squawked louder.

“Animal control, how can I assist you?”

“There is a squirrel in my house. He’s going to kill us. Get him out!”

“Okay, not a problem. I’ll put you on the list and send someone out to help.”

“When?”

“Not sure exactly, but before next weekend.”

Was she kidding me? This was Sunday. What would happen in another five days, let alone another five minutes? I hung up, paced behind the door, did some deep breathing, and thought of all the courageous things I’d accomplished in my life. I was determined to add the confrontation with Mr. Squirrel to that list. I slowly pushed open the door, forcing myself into my dining room to face my opponent.

Mr. Squirrel crept back and forth on the rod holding up my floral drapes. He squawked at me and I yelled at him, which only made him angrier and more frightened. I forced myself to ignore the fact that he might be dangerous. He had to leave my house under no uncertain terms.

Praying, I slowly walked on jelly legs past the windows, out of the dining room, and into the kitchen. I saw that he’d entered my home through a large hole that he had chewed through the screen door. I carefully opened the door, propping it open wide to give the squirrel ample space to exit. With shaking hands I grabbed some snack food and walked back into the room of horrors, and threw the nosh on the table to lure him down.

“Come squirrel,” I coaxed, sounding more menacing than tempting.

He squawked some more and did his tightrope act – but did not come down. Apparently, he wasn’t in the mood for snacks. In fact, he began making more strange noises and I was terrified that he was calling in the troops. After all, my back door was wide open, and maybe his 911 helpline was more useful than mine had been.

Frantically, I walked back into the kitchen and got my broom. Forget about feeding him; he needed to go.

I walked back into the dining room, looked him straight in the eye, and said clearly, “I didn’t want to have to resort to this, but I’ll use it if I have to.”

With that, I raised the broom and began to come after him. Within five seconds, he jumped off the rod onto the table and out the open back door. I banged the door shut and yelled to my children that the coast was clear.

Events like my squirrel invasion are not random. Hashem has a purpose to everything that happens to us. It wasn’t until a little time had passed that I began to understand the lesson of that experience.

As a mother of teenagers, I had been coming up against some new challenges that I had not experienced before. Teenagers, unlike younger children, have a stronger rational voice and sometimes test and challenge their surroundings in confrontational ways. On most days, I’m up to the task at hand and succeed in my goal. Even so, there have been times when I have felt overwhelmed and unqualified for the job, and my confidence was beginning to waver.

My uninvited animal guest, whom Hashem had sent into my home, served to highlight a point. Yes, bad influences and challenges are right outside my back door, and can easily enter my safe haven. However, I have the courage, the strength, the insight and surely a weapon much stronger and more powerful than a broom with which to show those influences a very wide open door.

Just by living a life of Torah, with my faith firmly in Hashem, I can handle each challenge facing me. I didn’t even need to call 911 or animal control to find that out. I figured it all out on my own.

Okay, with a little help from the squirrel!

Shayna Hunt is a professional freelance writer and the author of three published books, as well as a costumed historical interpreter at an outdoor museum that depicts life in the 19th century. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters. She can be reached at Shaynamy@aol.com.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Going Squirrelly”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
ISIS executioner holding British aid worker Alan Henning as a hostage.
Muslims Plead with ISIS for Life of UK Aid Worker Alan Henning
Latest Judaism Stories
Hertzberg-092614

Perhaps the most important leadership lesson Elkana taught us is to never underestimate the difference a single person can make.

Teller-Rabbi-Hanoch-NEW

“he’s my rabbi” the Black painter said with pride, pulling out a photo of the Rebbe from his wallet

Rabbi Avi Weiss, head of theYeshivat Chovevei Torah. Rabbi Asher Lopatin will be replacing him as head of the school.

The Torah notes that even when we are dispersed God will return us to Him.

Rabbi Sacks

Simply, for Rambam the number 14 (2×7) was his favored organizing principle.

One of the cornerstones of our Jewish life is chesed, kindness. Chesed can only be taught by example

Our understanding of what is and what is not possible creates imagined ceilings of opportunity for us.

This young, innocent child gave me a powerful, warm surge of energy and strength.

The Chafetz Chaim answered that there are two forms of teshuvah; teshuvah m’ahava and teshuvah m’yirah.

Question: I recently loaned money to a friend who has been able to repay only part of it. This was an interest-free loan. We exchanged a signed IOU, not a proper shtar with witnesses, since I have always trusted her integrity and only wanted a document that confirms what was loaned and what was repaid. Now that shemittah is approaching, what should I do? Should I forgive the loan? And if my friend is not able to repay it, may I deduct the unpaid money from my ma’aser requirement?

Name Withheld

A Role Reversal
‘Return, O Wayward Sons…’
(Chagigah 15a)

When the Kleins returned, however, they were dismayed to see that the renters did a poor job cleaning up after themselves.

In Parshas Re’eh the Torah tells us about the bechira to adhere to the commandments of Hashem and refrain from sin. In Parshas Nitzavim, the Torah tells us that we have the choice to repent after we have sinned.

As Moshe is about to die, why does God tell him about how the Israelites will ruin everything?

Jonah objected to God accepting repentance based on ulterior motives and likely for short duration.

This week’s parsha offers a new covenant; a covenant that speaks to national life unlike any other

More Articles from Shayna Hunt
book-between-10-and-5

No one likes to dwell about loss, or delve into the nitty-gritty issues and emotions that come along with losing a loving parent to a horrible illness. However life happens, and the sad truth is that many people every day lose parents to illness or age. It’s the facts of life.

Lessons-logo

The other night, after having a truly bad day where nothing seemed to go right, I jokingly changed my Facebook status to “I have had one of those awful, miserable, terrible days! And there is NO chocolate in the house!”

I was writing in my home office, and the back door was open, letting the breeze waft in. It was quiet, except for a loud squawking squirrel outside. In fact, he was so loud that it sounded as if he was in the next room. I stopped typing and unsteadily dragged myself to the dining room door, terrified to open it.

I recently received an envelope from Belgium, with legal documents informing me that I was found eligible to receive Holocaust compensation. I saw this as a symbolic rectification of a bitter injustice that seemed to represent the very essence of my life. As I flipped through the pages, my mind wandered back to my childhood.

The unthinkable tragic death of one’s child is a topic most of us find difficult to embrace.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/going-squirrelly/2010/10/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: